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Bianca Pagdanganan hangs on in 2022 LPGA debut

Bianca Pagdanganan had a roller-coaster day, finishing in even par for a share of 63rd place, after the first round of the 2022 Gainbridge LPGA, Friday morning (Manila time) at the Boca Rio Golf Club in Boca Raton, Florida.

This is the first time the reigning Southeast Asian Games champion took the course for this year’s LPGA season after taking full-pledge status for the year and the end of a nervy qualifying season in 2021. The nerves started to set in at the onset for the Filipino standout.

Pagdanganan tried to go for gained shots but instead settled for pars in the first four holes. She finally got a birdie on No. 5, but the score could not stay long in the red as she needed an extra hit in the immediate following hole. The University of Arizona product thus ended at even par after the front side.

The topsy-turvy day continued for Pagdanganan in the backside after digging herself into a 2-over par with four holes left with three bogeys — in No. 11 and back-to-back in Nos. 13 and 14 — against a birdie at No. 10.

Settling down, the 24-year-old golfer ended the day with back-to-back birdies off Nos. 16 and 17 to put herself back into square one heading into the second round on Friday.

World number 3 Lydia Ko ended the opener on top with 9-under two strokes ahead of USA’s Danielle Kang. Yuka Saso stands in a share of fourth place along with sixth others after 18 holes.

Pagdanganan will try to stay afloat and over the cut line. She takes the course again on Friday at 8:27 AM (9:27 PM, PH time), starting on No. 10.

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Grew to appreciate various sports from tennis to judo. True-maroon kiddo since the new millennium. Fanboy. Singer. Occasional sports writer.

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